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Cross Country Canada —Leader of Canadian team looks to build on solid opening weekend—

RUKA, Fin.—Alex Harvey skied his way into the elite group of 30 in the men’s 15-kilometre classic-ski individual start race on Sunday at the World Cup in Ruka, Finland.

Looking to feed off a personal best sprint race at the season-opener on Saturday, the 30-year-old Harvey scrapped his way into 22nd spot. The St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que. resident clocked a time of 37:31.7 on the four-lap track.

“Individual starts are always very difficult. It took me a while to figure them out because I always started too slow from the beginning. It’s about starting fast enough so you are putting the hurt on yourself in the first lap but staying patient and not going too fast to kill yourself,” said Harvey, who was lined up against the top skiers in the world – many whom already have a few elite races under their belt in the early season. “You have to bite your teeth a bit in these races.”

Skis in top shape with good kick to jump up the challenging hills on the hard-packed Ruka track and the body not far behind, the three-time Olympian completed his first lap in 10th spot, but slowly lost time on the field each of the next three 3.75 kilometre loops.

Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov won gold for the second straight day with a time of 36:17.8. Norway’s Emil Iversen finished in second place at 36:37.3. Taking a pull from Harvey for much of the early part of the race helped propel Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson to the bronze-medal position with a time of 36:39.0.

Russell Kennedy, of Canmore, Alta., completed the Finnish course in a time of 40:05.4 for 71st spot. Andy Shields, of Thunder Bay, Ont., was 82nd (40:40.4), while Julien Locke, of Nelson, B.C., placed 83rd (40:50.1).

The World Cup now travels to Lillehammer, Norway for a series of races slated between November 30 and December 2.

Complete Results:

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Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

Cross Country Canada

T: 403-620-8731

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